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reader comments: glossolalia

16 Sept 2010

I read your article on "glossolalia" and found it interesting, but completely false. My name is Denise Cordova and I spoke in tongues for the first time a couple of months ago and the experience was repeated last week. Before the event, I did not believe it and thought that people who spoke in tongues were just exercising an aspect of their religious rituals. I do not subscribe to "religion," but I am a deep spiritual person. When the event occurred, I was really taken by surprise. I had just been baptized and my step-mother (visiting from San Jose, California) told me, "when you come out of the water, just come up praising the Lord."

reply: You do not subscribe to "religion" (why the scare quotes?), but you were just baptized. Around here, baptism is a religious ritual. What does it mean to be "a deep spiritual person"? I think it means you are very emotional and have strong feelings about things usually referred to as "supernatural."

After I had been baptized in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ, I raised my hands and began to praise him and offer up thanks and hallelujah. The next thing I new an incredible feeling came over me. I do not know why, but while still in the baptismal font I felt the presence of God Himself (I do not drink, take drugs, or indulge in anything and no drink of even water was taken before this event).

reply: You don't need to drink or take drugs to be overwhelmed by emotions. The human body is a chemical and electrical plant, quite capable of producing its own feelings of presences or of going out of one's mind.

I began to jump up and down and exclaim, "Jesus is here, he's here, Jesus is here!" They (my step-mom and another lady from the local church here) escorted me out of the font and into a changing room where they told me, just keep praising Him. He's going to give it to you...I spoke in tongues for about 30 minutes, marching up and down, repeating one thing three times. There was a point where my mind was thinking, wow, these words are really coming out of my mouth, then I began to chuckle a little. There was definitely a presence within me, that is undeniable. My step-mother likens having the Holy Ghost to a person placing something on lay-a-way. She said, you have been marked and when the trumpet sounds, He is coming for you. He is in you.

reply: Your mother-in-law sounds like an instigator with a powerful personality.

With the changes that have occurred in my life, positive changes, I know what happened to me is real and it is true.

reply: Of course your experience was real. I would never deny that you felt what you say you felt or did what you say you did. When you say "it is true" I think you mean that you are taking your feelings as being caused by a supernatural being. Maybe, but I'd ask myself why a supernatural being with many magical powers would bother with such a trivial exhibition. I think it is more likely that you are misinterpreting your experience. Your feelings need no supernatural explanation. Your brain and body in the baptismal setting with your mother-in-law encouraging you are sufficient.

To say that we have no accountability to a higher power does not make it true. For your own well-being, you may want to rethink your position on the subject. I was extremely skeptical, but now I believe. One thing to remember, the people that go to churches and speak in tongues are still fallible humans. The Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ is real.

reply: It seems like you are talking in tongues again. The first statement seems obviously true, but I don't see what it has to do with anything else you've brought up. What does anyone's well-being have to do with believing in a "higher power"? You say you were extremely skeptical. Of what? What is it that you now believe that you didn't believe before? That people can get overexcited and start babbling with the encouragement of others reinforcing their belief that something supernatural is happening? We're all fallible, and some people need to feel special, but shouldn't that be a caution to you in interpreting your experience as a supernatural one? Isn't your last statement a bit dogmatic for a fallible human? If by "spirit of the Lord" you mean some strong feelings about vague notions that you deem "spiritual," then the statement is true but trivial.

I wish you well and hope you find what ever it is that you are searching for, sir.

reply: I'm not searching for anything in particular. You may be projecting your own feelings onto me. But thanks for wishing me well. I wish you well, too.

Thank you for taking the time to read my post.





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